Friday, 30 November 2012 12:40 PM
Whistler Blackcomb in Canada is one of the world's most famous winter sports resorts. While thousands of people come here every year to ski and snowboard on its vast amount of powder, there are lots of other activities on offer, including heli-skiing.
If you have never tried this sport and would like to get stuck into something new, there are plenty of benefits to experiencing the activity. Heli-skiing is downhill, off-trail skiing that sees you get about the various runs by helicopter, rather than the traditional ski lift.
The main point of the sport is to enable you to ski in areas that you otherwise could only reach by lengthy walks, which in turn would require you to not only bring extra skiwear suitable for hiking, but additional equipment such as tents if the trek is particularly long.
Instead, booking yourself on to a heli-skiing trip means you can quickly and conveniently cover large distances within minutes. At Whistler Blackcomb, the heli-skiing tour operator has exclusive rights to 475 runs and 173 glaciers across 432,000 acres, so you will certainly see landscape that you might not otherwise get the chance to.
Should you decide to go ahead and book a heli-skiing experience, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Firstly, there is no requirement to buy specialist clothing. Of course, Canada's cold winter temperatures mean you should always make sure your snow trousers, jackets and base layers are of a good enough quality to protect you from the cold.
It's also a good idea to invest in items that are wind and waterproof, as that way you can keep skiing for longer, with wet clothes weighing you down. If you don't usually bring goggles, you should definitely purchase a pair when stocking up on skiing accessories, especially as snow might get whipped up from the power of the helicopter's blades.
Since you might find yourself higher up the mountain than usual, make sure you remember to pack suncream, as even in winter the rays can find their way to your face. A red nose, cheeks and ears are not the fashion statement you will want to make later that evening when enjoy Whistler's famous apres-ski!
Indeed, after your day's heli-skiing, your group will more than likely celebrate the successful excursion when partying in Whistler Village's Bearfoot Bistro, where you can watch a video of your antics.
If your holiday to Whistler is your main break of the year, or you have never skied in Canada before, you might decide to splash out on one of the higher-end packages. The Classic Experience is the most affordable and includes three runs, where experience on the powder isn't required.
The next package is Elite Adventure, which will see you tackle four runs and is more suited to expert skiers, rather than intermediate or advanced individuals. Finally, the Ultimate Excursion includes six runs and has been created with winter sports enthusiasts in mind who would like to zip down routes a little bit quicker.
Of course, not everyone in your group will want to heli-ski, and Whistler is home to many more activities. Aside from traditional skiing and snowboarding, members of your party can also ride the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which stretches for 4.4 km. The Tube Park is another family-friendly way to spend part of your holiday in Canada, with no previous skills needed.